May, 2012

First Reflections on Studying in Holland

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

By: Radu Smintina, Foster Undergraduate

Hello there. I have been in Rotterdam for a little over a month now and reflecting on my experiences I must say I am surprised. There is SO much to tell, but alas space is limited and time, of the essence, so I will restrict my study abroad story to the most memorable experiences and observations for now.

When I first arrived in Rotterdam one of the things that struck me most was the sheer amount of diversity this city has to offer. I expected to be immersed in a sea of blond hair and blue eyes but, being a port city, there are all sorts of ethnicities here, mostly from Asian, African and other European cultures. The Rotterdam School of Management follows suit. There is a large international student population which is great to be a part of, not just on a business level but on a personal level as well. I have made many new and different friends and feel as though I have broadened my world view as a result of these friendships. On another note my palate is also thankful for all the cultural diversity for the Dutch lack, shall we say, creativity when it comes to food.

Another advantage of living in Rotterdam is that it is a fantastic hub for travel, being so close to many other wonderful cities. So far I have visited Barcelona, Bruges, Gent and Brussels in Belgium, Florence and Rome. However that is not to leave out all of the beautiful cities within Holland – Amsterdam, Leiden, Den Hauge and Rotterdam itself also has much to offer with its many canals, bridges and bi-weekly farmers markets.

Lastly I must address the infamous Queen’s Day which takes place every April 30th. It was a festival to rival all festivals as hundreds of thousands of people packed the city of Amsterdam. The streets were lined with venders and concerts and the canals were chock full of boats (and anything else that would float and support people). From dawn till dusk the city was alive and the most emphatic Queen’s Day troopers had started the festivities the night before in Den Hague. This was truly a memorable experience. Well I must leave you now, but will be sure to write again soon, take care!